Monday, June 4, 2018

ART BIZ | Turning an Artistic Idea into Cash

Postcard of the "Flag of the People's Republic
of Palm Beach." 2016. 48" x 72", Acrylic on Canvas.
I was talking today with Kenneth Walker at a Harvard event. 

He went to Brown as an undergraduate, and finished up at the Harvard School of Design.

He told me the minute he met me that he was an architect inspired by Ayn Rand. He had great faith in the free market and was also on the Palm Beach Planning and Zoning Board.

I asked him: "How does a Libertarian function as a member of the Palm Beach Gestapo?"
Walker with Flag.

He said, casting his eye to the next table: "I can see a vacant seat or two for you over there."

But he was just kidding... I think. Later I checked online and he is  portrayed as representing small businesses that are being oppressed by the P&Z Board. A worthy role.

He had a lot of interesting things to say. He swam with the pop-art folk in the 1960s and developed his own style, before he started his firm Walker Group Designs. What intrigued me most from an ART BIZ perspective is that he has figured out how to turn his artistic ideas into cash. His idea after the election of Donald Trump in 2016 was to develop a flag for the "People's Republic of Palm Beach."

I didn't ask him how he interprets his flag. The Palm Beach Post says he just made the British red and blue more tropical, switching to the pastel green and pink of Palm Beach.

My own interpretation is that the gold dollar signs are for the Randian producers, who are cornered by the pinko stripes of the  moocher-taker-looter-parasites. That would fit the title of the flag and the role the artist plays on the P&Z Board.

So I asked him how much he charges for this cute little flag, thinking I could pick up a couple of them as gifts. He said that he had made three paintings in different sizes, selling at $25K, $35K and $45K, as I remember. 

Then he made the painting into a real flag, ready to haul up the flag pole complete with free grommets to hang it by. He made 20 numbered flags. He sells them for $10K each. In case you are as curious as I was, he has sold seven of them. So he has 13 left in inventory. 

He told me that if anyone buys one of his unsold Palm Beach Flags through this post, he will donate a percentage to a charity of my choice. What an opportunity for you, reader, to do good at the same time as you indulge your artistic whim! Please follow up with Wendy Fritz (interview here) at the Fritz Gallery, +1-561-906-5337. Say you are responding to my post.👍